If you arnt aware parts a classified report was leaked, it is a "National Intelligence Estimate" which is the highest level of any intelligence report in the US and a work of every single intelligence agency we have. It said that the invasion of Iraq has made us less safe, it radicalized muslims across the globe, vastly increased the strength of al qaeda/terrorists both through an insane increase in recruits as well as those who want to finance terrorism. Basically, there are thousands if not millions of Muslims who were not terrorists before the invasion; they were living their lives and probably didnt like the US but would not go as far as to join Al Qaeda. The invasion of Iraq changed that, and we basically fucked ourselves over. Yadda yadda yadda. And its making headlines and is the big thing etc etc
My response to the report is; well no shit. Of course it increased the threat of terrorism. That was *predicted* before the war; both by terrorist experts (as well as anyone who can use logic) and government intelligence analysts who TOLD the president that. And in the first two years after our invasion terrorist attacks around the world skyrocketed, mainly targeting US allies; and thats according to the State Department's annual report of worldwide terrorist incidents; a report that was regarded as THE authority on such statistics until 2004 when the Bush Admin decided they wont publish those reports anymore (the final one showed terrorism tripling from the year before.) And there have been other reports, from teh CIA and elsewhere; including one from 2005 that was fully public (unlike the current one) that said the same thing, and even said Iraq had become what afghanistan was in the 80's, essentially a 'breeding ground for terrorism' where would-be fighters can come, openly train in terrorist techniques, then leave for europe/USA. SO my point in this is; nobody should be suprised. Everyone knows this. The Democrats are acting shocked and appalled because mid-term elections are fairly close and the Republicans are running as the party that keeps you safe, something this report contradicts (makes you wondered who leaked it and why!)
BUT ALL OF THIS OVERLOOKS SOMETHING THAT ISNT BEING REPORTED
What is "the single most serious threat to the national security of the United States?" Kerry and Bush were asked that very straightforward question in their first debate. Here are the first three sentences of Kerry's reponse "Nuclear proliferation. Nuclear Proliferation. There's some 600-plus tons of unsecured material still in the former Soviet Union and Russia."
Then it was Bush's turn and he was kind of ambiguous an unarticulate but it seemed like he agreed with Kerry.
But just to be sure the moderator said to Bush "So it's correct to say, that if somebody is listening to this, that both of you agree, if you're reelected, Mr. President, and if you are elected, the single most serious threat you believe, both of you believe, is nuclear proliferation?"
Bush "In the hands of a terrorist enemy"
Ok so thats my background; 1. Its been established the invasion of Iraq increased terrorism and the threat to our safety, and 2. Bush believes the single most serious threat the US faces is nuclear weapons "in the hands of a terrorist enemy."
Well "nuclear proliferation" means the spread of nuclear weapons to countries/terrorists, anyone. Thats why Kerry said "nuclear proliferation". Why did Bush specify "in the hands of a terrorist enemy" Well its also fairly clear the invasion of Iraq caused North Korea and Iran seek nukes for protection from the USA; thus the invasion worked against nuclear proliferation in that part. But what about "in the hands of a terrorist enemy" hmmm. What about that... hmmm
and now to my point:
If we had the chance to do it all over again, knowing everything we do now, the Bush Administration would still invade Iraq. Why? Because Iraq had the capability to make WMD, and couldve given them to a terrorist; thats what Bush says now. So is he right? Here is where Im going to reveal something thats not known by 99.9% of Americans:
Bush is right. Iraq had the capability to make WMD, specifically, nuclear weapons; (remember Bush talking about a mushroom cloud in the USA?). Now, they didnt have full capability; but at the time of the US invasion Iraq had significant quantities of yellow cake uranium (highly radioactive material used in nuclear bombs) as well as quite a supply of sophisticated equipment used to manifacture/weaponize a bomb. And everyone know they had it; and they knew where it all was. How did they know? Because Iraq told everyone.
Because Iraq had a nuclear program in the 80's, which was shut down in the early 1990's by the UN and had been kept under UN control ever since. Although the UN left in 1998, when they returned for inspectotions just before the 2003 US invasion, everything was still there (which they knew through satellite survelliance anyway.) And other inspectors were all over Iraq and couldnt find any secret/hidden WMD or programs and then suddenly Bush said "Well you just cant find them but they're there. I suggest you leave Iraq ASAP, in 48 hours we're invading." The UN frantically got out, making sure to put special seals on the nuclear facilities; not just to keep people from breaking in (obviously you can smash a lock) but so there would be an indication when they came back later if anyone had broken in.
And then they went home. And their boss, Mohammed El Baredi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (arm of the UN) pick up the phone and called Washington. And he said "If you are going to invade, please, please make sure you secure these nuclear facilities. They are filled with radioactive material and stocked with equipment used for making nuclear bombs," and Baredi said, and this hasnt been disputed; that the Bush Admin promised it would be secured.
And why wouldnt they? The reason they invaded was to "disarm" Iraq, and nuclear weapons are the worst arms of all. And after all, as Bush later said, the most serious threat we face is not just nuclear proliferation, but "in the hands of a terrorist" specifically; and a nuclear facility would be the best place for a terrorist to get what he needs.
Isnt that why we invaded back then? Isnt that why Bush says he would still invade?
"It has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil."
-Donald Rumsfeld 2003
The first thing the US did when they invaded, within hours according to the official record, was to seize every oil well they could. They said that Saddam might explode the oil wells (as he did in 1991) and thus they must be protected.
Then they moved up the country, securing all the oil wells. And then they got to Baghdad where there are no oil wells. From Time Magazine:
"When U.S. forces rolled into downtown Baghdad, they headed straight for the Oil Ministry building and threw up a protective shield around it. While other government buildings, ranging from the Ministry of Religious Affairs to the National Museum of Antiquities, were looted and pillaged, while hospitals were stripped of medicine and basic equipment, Iraq's oil records were safe and secure, guarded by the U.S. military. General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had an explanation: "I think it's, as much as anything else, a matter of priorities."
I'll start to wrap it up here because I think you've by now guessed the next thing Im going to say.
They didnt secure the nuclear facilities. They drove right past them, securing oil wells along the way; saying the oil wells had to be protected.
Its not that they didnt know where the nuclear facilities were They had been under UN control, everyone knew where they were, it was not a secret
Its not that they didnt know what was inside They knew exactly what was in the facilities, the UN reported everything that was there just before they left (so we could invade)
Its not that they forgot El Baradei begged them to secure the facilities, and they said they would.
Now you are wondering, what happened to the nuclear facilities then?
Well they pulled down a statue of Saddam in Baghdad and Bush stood on a naval ship to declared the war was over, "Mission Accomplished". Except there werent enough soldiers and everyone in Iraq just started going nuts and rioting and looting everything in sight. And when asked whats going on Rumsfeld said "Freedom is untidy...stuff happens" (actual quote)
And so Mohammad El Baradi calls Bush again, knowing Bush didnt bother nor probably cared about the nuclear sites, and Baradi said "OK let my nuclear inspection team in we need to get to those sights ASAP" And Bush refused (to cover their asses?). So a few weeks later Barardi tried again, and again, and again. Finally the US said they can inspect it; but they will be accompanied by US soldiers who will watch them and may ask them to leave at anytime.
So in August, finally, the UN inspectors returned to the nuclear facilities. It was ravaged, completely dismantled, shitloads of stuff missing, insanely looted; by a lot of people. In fact they found out a lot of people from the town next door came to take barrels (for farming or something) and so they dumped out barrels FILLED WITH URANIUM then took the empty barrel and left. And shortly after the invasion everyone in that town became extremely sick (im not even making this up)
Everyone was shocked and the Bush people said "oh... geeze this mustve happened in the chaos of those first couple days of the invasion, maybe before we even got this far in" but actually there were satellites who's entire job was to watch these sights (for when the UN left in 1998) and according to those the looting wasnt a couple day period. It was a couple month period. It just went on, and the Bush Admin just didnt care.
I'll again paste General Myers answer when he was asked by the oil ministry was protected while everything else ignored, before and during the massive looting.
"I think it's, as much as anything else, a matter of priorities."
So let me just some up the main points in case you didnt read/just skimmed what I wrote above:
-Iraq had a nuclear weapons facility, fully stocked with everything you need to make a nuclear bomb, including yellow cake uranium. It wasnt mention as a threat because it has been under UN control since 1991 and even when the UN left Iraq they had satellites watching it 24/7. When they came back briefly in 2003 everything was still there, but they were ordered to leave the country so the US could invade.
-Even though it seemed so obvious it goes without saying, the UN still sought and recieved assurances from the US that when they invaded the nuclear sites would be secured. They were not. Instead the US secured Iraqi oil fields "within hours" of the invasion and in Baghdad secured only the oil ministry; even when widespread looting of museums, hospitals etc. began and went on for weeks, they still only protected the oil minitry and oil fields.
-Quickly realizing the Bush people wasnt going to the nuclear sites, nor cared about it, the UN publically begged the US for months to be allowed to go to those sites; openly stating there was nuclear material that could be taken and used by a terrorist for radiological bombs. Five months after the US invasion, the UN came in and of course the nuclear facilities had been ravaged.
So when Bush says he still would've invaded because Iraq had at least the capability to make nuclear weapons and could put them "in the hands of a terrorist"; which Bush declared was the single most serious threat facing the United States; I would hope most people realize Bush is full of shit. For years people on both parties have said its urgent we secure loose nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union so a terrorist cant get them. And even though we didnt have enough soldiers in general, they had enough to secure all the oil fields. THE OIL FIELDS. And they admitted they did that because it was "a matter of priorities."
The United States literally invaded Iraq, saying it thought Iraq could hypothetically develop a nuclear weapon and give it to a terrorist (a scenario nobody took seriously.) And yet when the US invaded Iraq, they allowed the nuclear facilities to be looted and now nobody knows where the missing inventory went. And they dont care.
But for the Congressional elections; the REPUBLICANS main argument for keeping them in power is that they are the best party on national security and keeping the US safe from terrorists and WMD; and the DEMOCRATS are weak on national security and just dont care.
So when we read in the paper that yet another intelligence report has concluded that by invading Iraq the US greatly strengthed Al Qaeda and inspired thousands (if not millions) of people to become terrorists or support terrorist, and not only that but gave terrorists a wide open place where they can actually train and become experts in terrorist tactics; there is one other piece missing. WE ALSO GAVE THEM MATERIALS TO MAKE A NUCLEAR BOMB!
Invaded Iraq to take their WMD and decrease the threat of terrorism and found:
1. No WMD
2. No ties to terrorism
We ended up:
1. Increasing the threat of terrorism
2. Creating a new generation of terrorists, and
3. Supplied them with radioactive material to make a nuclear bomb.
Now tell me again you would still invade Iraq.